Lost Odyssey pushed to 2007

Mistwalker's second Xbox 360 RPG delayed; Blue Dragon still on track for release this year.

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TOKYO--The phrases "Japanese Xbox 360 role-playing game" and "Hironobu Sakaguchi" have practically become synonymous during the course of the past year, as the former Square producer has been developing a trio of new RPGs that are exclusive to Microsoft's new system. Almost every Xbox 360 meeting in Japan has featured an appearance by Sakaguchi, and today's press conference was no exception. While the Mistwalker president didn't unveil anything earth-shattering, he did give updates on his previously announced projects, including a slip in the release date for Lost Odyssey.

While his second Xbox 360 may be a little further off than expected, Sakaguchi revealed that development on his first Xbox 360 game, Blue Dragon, is right on track for a release by the end of the year.

"We're right in the middle of development right now," Sakaguchi said of Blue Dragon. "It's hectic every day. Even today, I have to go to the studio to attend the voice recording right after I finish talking here."

He added, "It's a pretty rare case, but Blue Dragon's development is progressing very smoothly. It can already run on the Xbox 360 [in real time] with things such as the battle phases and event scenes connected together... During the next few months, we'll be working on the stage direction [of events and scenes] and balancing the game."

On the other hand, Lost Odyssey still has a ways to go, and its release is slated for 2007. Sakaguchi will release a demo of the game in the summer or fall, which will feature about 20 minutes of the opening sequence. Sakaguchi said he showed the game's character designer Takehiko Inoue an incomplete version of the opening scene, which was met with positive feedback.

Sakaguchi is also working on a third project for the Xbox 360 named Cry On, which will be an action RPG codeveloped with AQ Interactive. With Sakaguchi focusing on the finalization of Blue Dragon now, no new information on the game was disclosed during the press conference.

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